HWC provides philosophical models that serve as the framework for practice. There is no framework like HWC’s in any other program.
De-escalation Skills: verbal and non-verbal:
Enables staff to develop and utilize therapeutic relationship skills necessary to reduce tension, create and maintain a calm and safe environment for all.
De-escalation and intervention protocols are being viewed as having three tiers. The first is universal interventions, the second is targeted interventions and the third is intensive interventions.
The nature of conflict:
- Conflict is neither positive nor negative, it just is
- Conflict is simply energy. It can be seen as a dance of energy, a primary motivator for change. An energy that can create waves of beauty as seen in beaches, canyons and rivers. An energy that can damage or destroy like a storm.
HWC’s Philosophical Models:
The problem is not with conflict/tension itself, but when it is not directed properly. Unprocessed, uncontrolled anger, conflict or tension is disorienting. It takes over so completely that we are consumed by it, and when it is unable to be managed internally, it discharges externally. HWC training teaches staff how to recognize escalating conflict/tension and how to use their relationship to assist the client or student to regain control of and redirect their tension into constructive and positive channels. HWC developed two philosophical models that serve as the framework for this practice:
- Tension/Tension Reduction Cycle (T/TRC): The T/TRC illustrates the dynamics of escalating and de-escalating tension in individuals and groups. The laws of physics state that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transformed. HWC’s model teaches staff how recognize when tension levels are rising. This allows staff to intervene early in the process so that the energy can be transformed into more productive channels before escalating out of control.
- The Solid Object Relationship Model (SORM): SORM is based on the observation that a person in crisis will attach himself to a more solid object to regain stability. Clients who are out of control at some level know that they are out of control and need to feel that the person intervening has the capacity to bring them under control and protect them from their own impulses and behavior. This person is the light, the ground, the center, the calm, the person we trust when we are the most vulnerable. We call this person, a solid object.
HWC’s training is an empowerment program for both teachers, staff, consumers and students. We teach staff how to be a solid object. Some character traits of a solid object are calm, focused, centered, grounded, stable, objective, caring, trustworthy and fair. HWC’s training describes how when a person or student is spiraling out of control and cannot contain his or her emotions, conflict, tension, the teacher or staff can step in and offer assistance. Basically lending the student or client their center, their light.
One of the main issues is that many people chronically misbehave not because they do not want to behave, but because they have not been given the tools to gain mastery over their behavior. The dynamics taking place using HWC’s solid object relationship model, is that the staff is taught how to provide a ground for the person to step back and gain some objectivity over the situation he cannot manage himself. Until the person or student regains his footing, the staff member/teacher supports him. As the person or student regains his footing, the teacher or staff no longer has to provide the support and transfers the footing or light back to the student or person to carry. With the goal being that in time the student or person will no longer need the teacher, and when things spiral out of control, the person or student will be able to maintain his own center. HWC’s program empowers the staff/teacher who then empowers the student/client.
To teach staff how to act as a “solid object” the model employs a practice that incorporates several self-awareness exercises where staff are asked to reflect on their own strengths and vulnerabilities. We then insert these personal assessments into the model to illustrate how staff can recognize when they are acting emotionally (not as a solid object) rather than professionally to a situation. We teach staff how to detach themselves from emotional responses like anger or fear, re-center, and re-calibrate their “affect” to become the ‘solid object’. The beauty of HWC’s program is that you do not have to be perfect to be successful – just honest and real. The intent and affect of staff is much more important than what words are actually said.
It is this combination of philosophy and practice that makes HWC’s program so effective, accessible and empowering.